I'm Katherine Haxton and I'm a lecturer in Chemistry at Keele University near Stoke-on-Trent in the UK. The England part of the UK, that is. We're about 1.5 hours from London, near Manchester and Birmingham (big English cities). I usually have to explain where Keele is because most people think its a port on the Baltic sea (Kiel). Lecturer in Chemistry is a suitably vague term for a job that includes teaching physical and inorganic chemistry and a side order of Forensic Science. I get away with blogging because part of my job includes outreach work usually with local schools but I take a broader view of talking about science, being an academic in the UK and stuff like that. I reckon my job is about 50 % teaching, 15 % other stuff and 35 % research. I think the balance is a little off there but more on that later perhaps.
The view from my office window this morning - its a bit dreich (pronounced dreech with the soft ch as in loch) out there.
Research-wise, I stick metals on polymers and see what happens. No, seriously, that's pretty much it. I could use all kinds of wonderfully complicated words to describe the work but there's no need to. At the moment we're studying the removal of nasty metals from water that might be used as drinking water, metal-polymer systems that can be used to catalyse reactions and dabble a little in polymers that can be used to release metal-based drugs such as cisplatin. The three applications are nicely connected through the techniques used to create and study them.
I was very surprised, like Patrice, to get an email inviting me to guest blog here at Scientopia. I must confess that I don't spend as much time reading and particularly commenting on blogs as I used to - if I find time to write a few posts in a week that's about it. My challenge for the next two weeks is to do better. My little blog, Endless Possibilities v3.0, started a few years ago, shortly after I was appointed as a lecturer. V3.0 because its the third place where it has been hosted. It started out on my research website, moved to NatureNetwork, then a couple of years ago (quite when, I forget), I shifted it back to its own server. I'm looking forward to the next fortnight here at Scientopia.